As I have mentioned before, I am not a big poetry fan. However, my children love poetry, and therefore I give it a chance. We have all enjoyed books by Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutsky, and several others, but I’m finding it hard to kick that prejudice. It’s books like the two in this review that remind you that poetry can simply be very short stories. I know I spent a lot of high school having to analyze poetry, and it is great to just enjoy the poetry in children’s books!
I picked up Lemonade Sun by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist because of the pretty cover. I was quickly browsing the library shelves before I needed to run off to another errand, and I was grabbing the books on display by the children’s librarian that we had not yet read (we had read most of them!).
This book is a tribute to summer. The words flow in rhythms that match the Jump Rope patterns, poems that slip down sweetly like lemonade, poems that feel like the tide coming in to touch your toes, then racing away again. This is a beautiful book that is great for reminding you of sunny beach days, either in the evening after a day at the beach or on a rainy or wintery day. The illustrations perfectly match the poems, and make it feel like the sun is warming the pages. Lemonade Sun will bring a smile to your face, and warm you up. But watch out for kids who then want a glass of lemonade!
Rumpus of Rhymes: A Noisy Book of Poems is written by Bobbi Katz and illustrated by Susan Estelle Kwas. This is one of the few books we have read lately that is NOT a great bedtime book! It can be a good transition book between acting wild and calming down to read, though.
Rumpus of Rhymes starts with a poem about books that have the loud words explode out of them in the night, disobeying the “Quiet Please” sign in the library. That poem and all the ones that follow have fun sounds for the reader, using multiple fonts and font sizes for emphasis. The illustrations show children in enthusiastic play and noise-making. There’s even a poem called “Hay Fever Season” with lots of sneezes, and a great illustration of a girl sneezing the petals off a flower!
See if you can get past your issues with poems with these books – then check out the other children’s poetry in the library – I’m sure the librarian can help you find more fun poetry books!